søndag 1. mai 2022

Is China Bringing Back the Planned Economy?

On April 10, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council — China’s Cabinet — jointly released a document titled, “Opinions on Accelerating the Construction of the National Unified Market.” Any document bearing the seal of two of China’s most powerful bodies tends to attract public attention, but it was the term “national unified market” that really got analysts debating the question: Was China plotting a return to the planned economy?

On the surface, that might seem like a leap of logic. In context, it’s more understandable. In recent weeks, as some of China’s largest cities battle COVID-19 outbreaks, just about everyone has felt the grip of government interference in their daily lives. Against this backdrop, the announcement’s timing seemed especially significant. Perhaps the central government intended to take a firmer hand, not just in disease control itself, but also in the market.